I read with despair that another beautiful, remote and environmentally precious part of the world has been targeted by the big wind companies in their continuing assault on our countryside.
In their usual 'green' and 'environmentally friendly' disguise, the energy companies are earmarking the island of Yell in Shetland for a large, destructive wind farm.
This largely untouched island landscape will, if they have their way, be ploughed up and desecrated in yet another devastatingly destructive installation of more than 60 turbines, together with all the damaging infrastructure that will be required to service these most inefficient of energy producing machines.
Let me tell you a little about the island of Yell.
It lies in the archipelago of Shetland, more than fifty miles off the coast of Northern Scotland. Remote, beautiful and unique, the island supports a population of less than a thousand people although it has been inhabited since Neolithic times. The diverse wildlife includes rare otters and seals. Yell has its own unique species of field mouse and many scarce bird species, including Skuas.
The area in which the wind farm developer wants to erect its huge turbines is largely composed of blanket bog which is an important habitat for many threatened species such as the insectivorous Sundew plant.
As we already know, turbines also pose a direct and serious threat to bird life and it is highly likely that the Yell wind farm would have a drastic effect on the bird population in the area, with both resident and migratory species likely to suffer.
The timeless landscape of this peaceful island and potentially some of its unique and rare wildlife would forever be lost - and all for the dubious 'benefits' of a largely unproven energy source.
Sustainable Shetland, an organisation that supports social, environmental and economic sustainability in Shetland, says of the proposed project: "We believe that we are sustained, both physically and mentally, first and foremost by our environment.......future generations will have to pay for our misdeeds....If we destroy or desecrate [the environment] in the name of sustainability, there is something far wrong."
I couldn't agree with them more.
These beautiful, rare landscapes are totally irreplaceable. As well as being essential to the survival of an abundance of species, they nurture the soul and spirit and are life enhancing spaces. We are the generation who have the choice to destroy or preserve our rural wilderness for future generations. That is a great responsibility and we must not let big business, masquerading as green enterprise, plough up our countryside in what amounts to a catastrophic free-for-all, money making, rampage through our most sacred and precious landscapes.
For when they are lost, they are lost forever.
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